Author Archives: Allie

Gandhi on keeping the faith…

Gandhi on keeping the faith

Gandhi on keeping the faith

The flames kindled by LGBT activists have led to same sex marriage becoming law in some countries – keep that fire burning and fight the global oppression of LGBT people around the world.

Pride in London this year are highlighting the global oppression of LGBT people and expressing solidarity with their struggle by having a section of the parade for flagbearers of every nation on earth.  The flagbearers will have a link to the nation they are bearing the flag for, and will be from the LGBT community in London – proudly one of the most multicultural and diverse cities in the world.  The aim is to send a message of love and solidarity to LGBT people worldwide who are struggliung against oppression and discrimination.

Find out more at the Pride in London website.


My baby’s all growed up and leaving home…

My first sale through my Etsy shop, RainbowShed, happened today.  I opened my shop on Sunday last week – or rather actually listed some items for sale – the shop has been open but empty since the end of January due to a series of hitches, a camera that couldn’t download images, a few tweaks to technique and construction, and a couple of days waiting for parts to arrive for the sewing machine to solve some issues with the sewing.

At times I felt I was never going to open my shop.  But here we are, a week on, and my first sale has already happened.  A friend saw some of the samples I had made, and requested a wide scarf, or wrap, which reflected her Caribbean roots.

Jamaican Parish Map scarf

Jamaican Parish Map scarf

A couple of hours later I came up with a design she loved after asking a lot of question about what was important to her and how she wanted to wear it.  I also saw a new product for my shop – the wrap, to use wrapped around the shoulders, worn like a wrap or shawl, or like a hood or headscarf.

I listed this in my shop today so that she could buy it – and I already have some favourites on this wrap, and on the plain version without the map detail.  My friend came round and loved her wrap, and bought it on Etsy, so I now have my first sale a week after opening properly.

My wrap has gone now – off it went out of my door, already smelling of my friend’s perfume, and wrapped around her shoulders.  I must admit I had mixed feelings.  I loved designing the wrap, and it was even better turning my design into reality on Friday.  I took great care over making the wrap, making sure it was the best it could possibly be, and it is a milestone making my first sale, but now it feels strange not having it around.

I am making another design tomorrow morning, for my Mother-in-Law’s birthday, so I have my fabric and thread ready, I just need to cut out the fabric and stitch it together tomorrow, ready for the afternoon when we meet up for her birthday meal.  I am moving on.

But there will always be a place for my first custom order – my baby is all growed up and leaving home…

A custom made scarf designed for you

A friend asked me to design her a scarf that would reflect her Caribbean roots and be big enough to act as a wrap or shawl to keep her hair beautiful, whatever the weather.  I worked with her, choosing the colours of the Jamaican flag, black, green and gold.

If you love this scarf, order one made just for you from my Etsy shop, RainbowShed.

The flag of Jamaica is based on a Saltire design, which reflects the Scottish and Irish heritage of many on the island, and the Pan-African colours of black, gold and green are symbolic:

Black: represents the strength and creativity of the Jamaican people
Gold: represents the natural wealth of Jamaica and its beautiful sunshine.
Green: represents hope and the lush vegetation of the island.

Jamaican Parish Map scarf

Jamaican Parish Map scarf

The design I came up with features three stripes, green, gold and black, with Jamaica in black appliqued onto the central gold stripe, and the parish where my friend’s family comes from highlighted in red, to represent her strong connection with ties of blood to Jamaica.

The touch of red also reflects the red of the Ethiopian flag, representing strength, and linking this scarf to the Pan-African colours of red, gold and green, used in so many flags of African nations. The red of the Pan-African colours represents “the noble blood that unites all people of African ancestry” from the constitution of the UNIA founded by Marcus Garvey, advancing ideas to promote social, political, and economic freedom for black people.

The style of this piece is really a wrap or shawl  that can be used in many ways – as a scarf, as a hood, as a wrap around the shoulders, and to cover the hair. The width is approx. 45cm (17.5 inches), and the length is approx 150cm (59 inches).

Customise your scarf with a choice of colours

Customise your scarf with a choice of colours

You can customise your scarf by choosing the colour you want on the reverse side to the stripes.

You can choose from red, gold, green, black or mini leopard.

Caribbean blue sky backing

Caribbean blue sky backing

The wrap is made from soft, snuggly double layer anti-pill polar fleece, and features black fleece on the reverse side to the stripes.


Detail of the map of Jamaica - Saint Elizabeth parish

Detail of the map of Jamaica – Saint Elizabeth parish


For that touch of Caribbean sunshine, you can have the back of the scarf made from turquoise fleece with fluffy white clouds appliqued on, to bring a little Caribbean sunshine to a cold and grey day.


The map of Jamaica is at one end of the scarf so that it sits over the heart when the wrap is worn.





I love to work with people to design something special that reflects their identity. If you would like me to design something special for you, you can request a custom order, or ask me a question at my Etsy Shop, RainbowShed, or you can fill in the contact form on this blog to start a conversation about what you would like.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali on co-operatives

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I have longstanding connections with the co-operative movement, and I am passionate about the ideals of co-operation as a means of both meeting people’s needs and enabling people to become autonomous and in control of the means of production.

For me co-operation is about respect, education, democracy, equality and equity.

Interestingly the rainbow flag now long adopted by the Gay Pride movement was a symbol of co-operation,adopted as the flag of the International Co-operative movement since 1925.  The 7 colours of the rainbow were chosen because they represented unity in diversity and the power of light, enlightenment, and progress.

Red – stands for courage
Orange – offers the vision of possibilities
Yellow – represents the challenge kindled by green
Green – indicates a challenge to co-operators to strive for growth of membership and of understanding of the aims and values of co-operation
Sky blue – suggests far horizons, the need to provide education and help less fortunate people and strive toward global unity.
Dark blue – suggests pessimism: a reminder that less fortunate people have needs that may be met through the benefits of cooperation.
Violet – is the colour of warmth, beauty, and friendship.

7 stripe rainbow scarf on Etsy

Another step into the 70s with my latest scarf on Etsy.  Blow the dust off your platforms and feel that clinging thigh and loose around the calves sensation that is the flare in all its majesty…  Introducing the 7 stripe rainbow pride scarf. Continue reading

8 stripe rainbow scarf on Etsy

The latest addition to RainbowShed on Etsy is this gorgeously snuggly 8 stripe rainbow scarf.  I designed this scarf inspired by the original gay pride flag designed by Gilbert Baker back in 1978 for the San Francisco Pride Parade. Continue reading